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Signing memorandums of understanding to implement India’s development assistance for water resource management projects in Viet Nam’s Mekong Delta Region

01/10/2020 17:00 |

On the morning of September 23, the delegation of Ben Tre province led by Vice Chairman of the Provincial People's Committee Nguyen Truc Son attended the signing ceremony for seven water resource management projects in Viet Nam's Mekong Delta Region under the quick impact project program of the Government of India, held in Can Tho city.

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Vice Chairman of Ben Tre Provincial People's Committee Nguyen Truc Son (right) and the Consul General of India in Ho Chi Minh City, Dr. Madan Mohan Sethi signed an MOU. (Photo by Kim Ngan)

At the ceremony, seven memorandums of understanding (MOUs) were signed by the Consul General of India in Ho Chi Minh City, Dr. Madan Mohan Sethi, and officials of the four beneficiary southern provinces of Viet Nam (namely Ben Tre, Hau Giang, Kien Giang and Tien Giang), in the presence of Ambassador of India to Viet Nam Pranay Verma and Deputy Head of the Foreign Affairs Ministry's General Economic Department Pham Thi Anh. The seven projects entail a total grant assistance of US$ 350,000 covering diverse water resource management activities and infrastructure such as rainwater harvesting, water reservoir, clean water supply pipelines, new irrigation models to prevent drought and saline water intrusion, etc. These seven projects are among 26 quick impact projects funded by the Government of India in 22 Vietnamese localities within the framework of the Mekong - Ganga Cooperation, which aim towards direct socio-economic benefits to communities in difficult areas through short-term projects. Of 26 quick impact projects, 13 projects have already been completed, while 12 new projects are being carried out in the fiscal year of 2020 - 2021.

The MOUs, each worth US$ 50,000, include two projects (supporting water containers for 790 households in border areas and islands; rainwater collection and storage for sustainable water supply) in Kien Giang province; two projects (building rainwater reservoirs in dry areas to ensure people in Tan Phu Dong district access to hygienic water sources; installing standard water pipes for people in Dong Trach commune, Go Cong Tay district) in Tien Giang province; two projects (building advanced irrigation and watering, water saving models, applying 4.0 technology to prevent drought and saltwater intrusion in Chau Thanh district; supporting and supplying clean water for people in drought and saline areas) in Hau Giang province; and one project (the Thoi Dinh irrigation and drainage project) in Ben Tre province.

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Delegates posed for a photograph at the signing ceremony. (Photo by Kim Ngan)

At the ceremony, Indian Ambassador to Viet Nam Pranay Verma said development cooperation was an important pillar of the comprehensive strategic partnership between India and Viet Nam. The India – Viet Nam good traditional relationship has been a successful model in terms of institutional and capacity building support in diverse fields over the years, including top research centers such as the Mekong Delta Rice Research Institute.

In his remarks at the signing ceremony, Vice Chairman of Ben Tre Provincial People's Committee Nguyen Truc Son said that due to the impact of climate change in recent years, drought and saltwater intrusion in the Mekong Delta provinces, especially in Ben Tre province, have become increasingly severe. Saline water has penetrated deeply into the inner field, greatly affecting production and people's daily life. In many places, there are no freshwater storage systems, therefore people have to buy water storage equipment and use water economically to survive through the drought season. Particularly in Cho Lach district, many households lack fresh water for daily use because the surrounding area has been saline. In this sense, the Thoi Dinh irrigation and drainage project in Cho Lach district is a meaningful gift, expressing the love of Indian people for Ben Tre people in general and Cho Lach people in particular.

By Kim Ngan

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